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I was dancing with a guy (who was a great salsa dancer by the way, I had a blast) and I told him I was finished.
After turning back to my friends he tried to grab me.
I was having all of these experiences that made me feel devalued in a group of students who couldn’t relate to me racially.
This experience taught me that traveling while Black is a revolutionary and resilient act.
We had a casual chat, wherein he, too, commented on the large amount of Black women sex workers in Barcelona.
We talked about the adverse effect this has on the perception of the Black female body in Spain and he comforted me by telling me that I was not the only Black woman to bring up this concern.
When I asked one of my friends who spoke Spanish fluently to politely ask him to stop, he continued to grab me while saying “women do not look like her in my country.” I brought my concerns to my brother, who is incredibly well-traveled and was also in Europe at the time.
We spoke of how in Europe, interracial dating is less-stigmatized.
There were times while traveling that I felt really sad and alone.
Initially, I did not think twice about being one of the few students of color in the group. As such, being the only or one of the few Black students was not new to me.